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VIP Inspectors: Identifiable vs Identified

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by lowviz, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
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    I pointed in an earlier post in this thread to having received a brand new Alu tank, with hydro stamp, valve and shop VIP sticker that had a significant amount of aluminum chips in it. Many tiny, potentially dip tube orifice clocking, many tinier, some quite bigger. As a pretty technical guy I am certain that this cylinder never was cleaned after the valve thread was cut. Thread and cylinder were pristine except for the chips. There was no evidence of rework or such (or worse).
    So, this cylinder was never cleaned after the thread was cut.
    That is strike 1. Should not ever happen.

    It also was never VISually inspected or not thoroughly enough.
    That is strike 2.

    Since it is highly unlikely that a new cylinder would be hydro tested prior to the thread being cut, it also appears difficult to understand how all the Alu thread cutting chips could have been remaining in the tank after hydro testing. Why? Well, one would think that a hydro tested tank would have been filled with water at least once ... and that water would have been poured out at least once. When I cleaned the tank the vast majority of the chips (after shaking out first) in the general tank volume came out with the first rinse. Maybe even all, but that is hard to tell as small bits in the thread still needed to be worked out with a toothbrush.

    So, it would not be entirely unreasonable to entertain the thought that this tank possibly, despite the stamp indicating the opposite, might actually never have been hydroed. If so, that certainly would be a big fat strike 3.

    I was not a certified inspector then. I worked it out with the shop. I thought about raising a stink with the manufacturer, but chose not to. (I do value my time somewhat and felt it would have been the shops place to raise that stink, but they likely never would have as the name was on the VIP sticker that probably should not have been there.

    So, does that count as a valid example to your question?

    Anyway, as previously mentioned in less words, that experience shattered my the as pretty new diver alreadysomewhat damaged trust in any level of integrity in the scuba world and convinced me that if I really want to trust something, I either really know the person (not the shop) wo inspected or adjusted something so well that I trust them indeed - or if I am not in that lucky position I need to go diy. Which I did. Hence I took the class and became an inspector. I only inspect my own tanks for my own purposes and as I would not hesitate to consult a shop if something looks worthy of a second look, I quite can trust my process here. There is that and there also is the not small fact that inside my tiny little scuba world that VIS class from @abnfrog most certainly is the highest quality hands on class I ever took.
    For what it's worth, if I ever were to **** up an inspection, @abnfrog certainly would not be to blame. That's why my stickers proudly show my #.

    But, as I inspect so few tanks so infrequently, I reread and recheck, look, double check etc... in my case I loose money doing it. But I know what I got and that I can trust it...
     
  2. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
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    I called PSI once for a second opinion about a cylinder. It was a PST exemption series steel (forgot if it was 3442 or 3500 psi) with a fold in the crown that went up into the threads. (I eventually decided to pass it)
    I have not yet ever need to but I would bring cylinders to my hydro shop for a 2nd opinion.
    There are a few shops around I would consult for 2nd opinions.

    There's a lot of merit in reaching out to others on the marginal or uncertain cases.
     
  3. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
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    Absolutely - there's always room for more knowledge.

    My shop reached out to me for a second opinion on a marginal Ali tank they were inclined to fail. I borrowed a (proper) Eddy tester and inspected the threads and could prove conclusively that it was okay.

    Of course this opposite to all cylinder inspection training that clearly states that Eddy defects need to be confirmed by vis :rofl3:
     
    markmud and lowviz like this.
  4. Jcp2

    Jcp2 Literally virtually diving ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Since physics remains constant yet visual and hydrostatic testing standards are quite variable across industries and/or countries, one can conclude that a large portion of the regulations are political in nature. It’s like getting glasses. Opticians snd ophthalmologists are much more common than optometrists in most countries.
     
  5. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
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    With out an identification , there is no accountability for the quality of the inspection. I know this is a hot topic but if you have a vip done and the tank goes bad how do you prove who actually did it. Further what was done and was it done correctly. I understand your position about it being an legal vs non legal matter. but vips like recertification is a legal matter. a recert you have the certifiers id why not the vips id. If your position is that vips are an industry safety measure with out legal backing then I agree with you. Its not the case. Any one can get a stack of vip sticiers and slap them on the tank with out removing the valve and say they dont remember who did the vip but wants the LDS to pay for their damages. Or that anyu tank that has a vip sticker is a valid one. Patrons of any shop should not have to worry if hte tank they have was sticker slapped or really inspected. Should not the public have the right or obligation to know that those that work on this gear are qualified to do so. Dive certifications are not a requirement but recert and vip standards are, yet you can goto ebay and buy them or create them on your own computer and print them on bumper siticker material just to get out of paying for the service. If nothing else the ID gives some credibility and/or accountability to the vip process. I dont like the thought personally ,, but functiionally one probably should not be able to vip their own tanks either for the same reasons.
     
  6. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
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    And this is my concern if the VIP process ever gets placed under 'government control'. The very first thing to go will be these personal freedoms that we now enjoy.
     
    markmud, Dark Wolf and Schwob like this.
  7. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    1,859
    1,013
    113
    Ditto in as far as worried about government involvement. Not sure it would bar qualified self inspection, but the cost of becoming qualified to do so and remain such might become more prohibitive (registered / licensed business, insurance requirements...)... probably more so than just to mandate a safe filling enclosure...

    I do not really follow those that only want to use anonymous stickers. I see no reason not to display the inspectors number on the sticker. I would also hesitate trusting a tank inspected by "anonymous". I also don't really like shop stickers that do not reveal the actual inspector (number), but assume (who knows if correctly and always so?) that the inspector is backtraceable through the shop if need be... but I'd much prefer a shop policy of accountability ditectly visible to the customer. I think it aides to keep service more attentive and honest.
    As things are (with evidence in my past of flawed shop visual inspection), I see little reason a shop should trust an identified trained, non shop affiliated inspector with valid cert card less than someone affiliated with a shop. I could go as far as to argue that an inspection done in a shop environment at times might be less trust worthy at times of large inspection back log, time pressure, disgruntled over low pay, Mondays after a "hard weekend", tired of the job, the kI'd is sick, the life partner is grumpy, .., you name it... But that would just be arguing...

    Anyway, I see no reason as to why a certified inspector should be barred from inspecting his or her own tanks. Why should that be? Conflict of interest? The trainng should have made it clear to the inspector that only tanks meeting the ctiteria can be passed. If that was the concern, then a shop should also be barred from inspecting any tanks owned by them, their owners & employees and how close or distant relatives exactly? Makes no sense.
    ...
    If some day it goes the way of government involvement, I doubt that only government employees would do the inspecting. Maybe inspect inspectors and shops with complaints against them. I'd think that a private entity or business may qualify and be licensed to do the work and I doubt they would be barred from inspecting their own tanks.
    IDK, is someone i.e. running a vehicle emissions testing station barred from sending his / her own car through it?
     
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  8. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    6,795
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    Ditto. If I were to rename this thread it would be "VIP Inspectors: Anonymous, Identifiable, or Identified?".

    I choose "Identifiable" on a stock TDI/SDI sticker. I'm now looking into having two custom stamps made that will lightly cut my cert number into the sticker so I can run a marker over it then rub off the excess.

    Two stamps required, one for VIP, one for O2. OMG, they are expensive buggers!
    Found this so far: Custom Locksmith Stamps & Industrial Markings

    Can anyone suggest anything better (as in cheaper)? -other than just writing the number on the sticker...
     
  9. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    1,859
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    Maybe not better, but my number is printed on the sticker. (just censored out on the picture in above link)
    See post
    VIP Inspectors: Identifiable vs Identified

    I "designed" (ok, cobbled together) the sticker myself, used one of my pics, wording that I am still not sure about, to save cost enough a long enough punch calendar that out lives me (so, if I just do my tanks and do not loose the stickers and the adhesive does not play old age tricks, the rules don't chanel in a way to obsolete those sticker, etc. , that first order would outlast my diving life).

    I am no guru with these things. I somehow used "IrfanView (freeware) and "SnagIt" (happened to have access to) to cobble it together. I entertained ordering from Stickermule and Stickerrobot, don't recall right now where I ordered from. Getting on their e-mailing list may get you a promotional mail for fifty stickers for cheap (to try), if you are extremely lucky even in the shape / size you want. I just went for it with a first order.

    I have no idea if metalized foil stickers would be better than vinyl ones. Mine are vinyl. I went for the silk scream print with coating (twas same price, supposedly lasts longer and is better in UV exposure, but the lead time was looong as the bundle it with other orders to fill a whole silkscreen). Not sure that is necessary, at the most the stickers need to last a year.
    Mine stick pretty well. The vinyl seems plenty thick. Yet, it does stretch and tear easier than I'd prefer for yet easier removal. (It's workeable, I certainly don't really have the hang out of that yet - not with anyone's stickers and still end up spending time on residue removal), but I do this, what, 7 times a year... (for now)
     
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  10. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    6,795
    3,455
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    Yeah, that would be convenient but I'm using stock TDI/SDI stickers. I like your sticker, BTW.

    I think that an agency sticker with my cert #'s imprinted (and a custom hole punch for date and type of inspection) will be the best bet to get a fill from shops who don't know me.

    Stock TDISDI sticker:
    Sticker.jpg
     
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